Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Belongs to God?

The political campaigns are in full swing. The candidates are beginning that big push to the end. November 4th is in sight and advertising, debating, stumping is at full throttle. You can not go an hour without someone or something reminding or suggesting to you to whom to place your vote. The thing that is unsettling is the fact that each candidate uses fear and trust to win your vote. The basic ingredient in our decision to vote comes down to fear and trust. Do you trust this person? Do you fear your future if this person is elected? Through all the rhetoric this is the two core values we are looking for in the leaders of our government. Fear and trust seem to drive our decision and feelings of hope for the future. During this time we have also been bombarded by issues of the economy. Experts are all over the news media telling us how bad is it, how the future looks hideous, and we are in desperate times. We hear words like Bailout, tax plans, and economic relief. We are flooded with news of Acorn, voter fraud, and disenfranchised. Each story is again more innuendoes of trust and fear.
Jesus was confronted by the chief priest and Pharisee’s when asked should one pay taxes. Their intention was to trap him by this trick question. If Jesus said no he was in violation of the law. He could be arrested for treason against Caesar. If he said yes then he would be labeled as one who was loyal to government not God or the church. Jesus answer was simple and brilliant. He asked for a coin. Asked who picture was one it. And said if Caesar picture was on it, it must belong to him, so give back to Caesar what is his and give God what is God’s. So what do we have that is God’s? If money doesn’t matter to God, why is it so important issues in elections? Does God care who is president?
When I think about my personal inventory and search for things to give to God I have along list. I can give to God: my time, my talents, my joy, my devotion, my soul, my words, my actions, my compassion, my service, my grace, my identity, unity with others, my integrity, and last on my list my money. When I look at my list am I giving all I can to God. Not really, as I have much more to give. I give by giving the things on my list to others. When I begin to give to God what is God’s, I ironically find the things that are driving the campaigns. I begin to place my trust in God and God removes all fear from my life. I can trust that God will take care of me and my family, which removes fear from my future. I find hope, peace, and joy from my investment of God. I begin to value myself as God values me. What Belongs to God? All of ME…

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